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Posts posted by NorthfieldNick

  1. Robin-


    Yep, it's Marianna Schreeder who owns Kate.


    Hubert has a littermate of Nick's named Cap, and several half sibs. Nick must take after Ben- he & Hubert's Rex look a lot alike... except that Nick is blue.


    Here's the story of how Nick, born in TN, ended up in WA:


    I was borrowing a dog from a friend to work my sheep. Mac is a lovely dog, but he's NOT a worker. For various reasons. After he quit & left the field for the 100th time, I decided it was time for a dog of my own. I talked to a friend of mine, Bill Evans. He used to trial (had a great dog named Bob), and train. He's good friends with Pat Shanahan. Bill talked to Pat- Pat had seen Nick at a clinic and liked him. Granted, I was looking for someone's retired trial dog, or a dog who just wasn't quite going to make Open. Nick was (is) younger than I really wanted, but everything Pat & his old owner said just sounded so good. So in Dec of '06 I picked Nick up at the Seattle airport. He's a great dog. He's a fantastic worker, tries his heart out, gets the job done... the first time I penned sheep with him, I was amazed how easy it was! Granted, he's FAR from finished, but he does a good job. Plus, he's the sweetest, happiest dog I've ever met. He wins over everyone!


    I don't know that I'll ever trial (used up my minimal competitiveness showing horses as a teenager), but I definitley got myself a good dog :rolleyes:

  2. My sister's BC is 13 or so, and while she's deaf, and fairly arthritic, she's still a cantankerous, wierd old beast who rules the roost.


    My friend's BC died at 16 this past fall. He was a stock & trial dog his whole life.


    Arg... Nick is only 3. I have how many more years to put up with him?! :rolleyes: Eh, I love my goofy boy.

  3. Elizabeth-


    I guess I'd like to know what the dogs in Nick's lines have done. Anything great, or just good farm dogs. I don't really plan on trialing, but Nick is a fantastic farm dog! He has such a wonderful personality- I'd hope he's not a fluke!


    Anyway, his sire is Ben ABC 156553, who was bred by Montgomery, but is (Was?) owned by Deborah Bailey (why is that name so familiar?). Other Montgomery dogs on his papers:


    Donnie ABC 13918

    Lacey ABC 148000


    Huck AIBC 64118


    Huck (another one) ABC 18123

    Meg ABC 24676


    Nick was bred by Bill Reed in TN, although it doesn't look like he owned either parent.


    Nick's dam is Kate ABC 175226. I was told she worked cattle, but I don't have any specifics.


    I'd also love to to know colours on Nick's parents. He's blue (looks like mud brown), which is a dilute black. I could write a dissertation on horse colour genetics, but I don't know dogs. Where does the dilute gene come in? What colour carries it?


    None of this matters other than personal preference- Nick was neutered a year ago :rolleyes:

  4. Is there an accessible database out there to research ABCA pedigrees?


    I'm a lineage nut... I have an enourmous stack of papers on my Arabian gelding's parentage- some lines going as far back as there are written records. I can tell you generations of breedings for some of my registered ewes.


    I'd love to find out info about the dogs and breeders in Nick's pedigree. This got re-sparked when I saw Dale Montgomery's name in the thread about a cow dog sale. They bred Nick's sire.



  5. Nick launches himself at Lu. He either attatches himself to her neck, whereupon she beats the snot out of him, or Lu dodges and then it's off for a round of the zoomies. If Lu is being really boring, Nick will bark & bite her legs until she gets annoyed and beats the snot out him (glutton for punishment, he is.)


    Of course, none of this is happening right now, as Lu is laid up with a sprained shoulder from my sister's 80Lb lab slamming into her. *arg*

  6. Bella has the same look as my Lu, whose only obivous breed is GSD (although she's most certainly a mix).


    Well, let's see... German SHEPHERD. Shepherd = sheep... and sheep always lead to a BC, so maybe she's just a step on the path.


    Stick around and post lots of pics. GSD will always make me swoon (despite the fact that I've never had a PB. Lots of shepherd mixes, though).

  7. You know, my experience with Shetlands was the same as Bill's. This experience was through a friend, and a few things coloured it badly: 1) She lives where there is zero grazing at any time of the year, 2) she was therefore basically losing money on the carcasses, 3) she didn't have time to market or deal with the wool. Her shetlands were very good-natured, but they got out of fences that kept their goats in.


    I, like Julie, raise a minor breed- Cotswolds. I love them. They're big, beautiful, easy to handle, amazing foragers, good mothers, heavy milkers, very low-maintainence. They're not the fastest growing things in the world, and supposedly if grain-fed they can put on more fat than is ideal, but I don't grain at all, and mine finish just fine for my market. I got the Cots originally because I like the wool- I still do- but it's the lamb that pays the bills (although I sold a raw fleece for $18/Lb this spring, and my yarn is going for $56/Lb, so the specialty wool market isn't so bad). Most of my lamb is sold custom-cut, and my customers who've had both ask for the Cotswold lamb over the crossbreds- they, and I, think it tastes better.


    I also keep a flock of Coopworth/Romney/NC Cheviot/etc cross ewes for faster-growing market lambs. They grow faster, but don't forage as well as the Cots. I'm thinking of crossing the Cot rams on the commercial ewes next year- did it on a few lambs this year, and they're huge!


    I agree that it shouldn't take much more to handle 10 sheep than it does 100. Although mid-lambing I usually wish I only had three bred ewes instead of 100...


    Okay, point of that thread hijack is that there's a breed for every person & every purpose. If you only want lamb for yourself & a friend or two, and aren't worried about making money, a smaller breed that has other attributes you like enjoy might be perfect.


    And yes, AK, you're joining us loopy sheep folks who've gone off the deep end. I get such a sense of peace & balance when I'm working my sheep- it's what I was meant to do.

  8. First dog as a child: GSD/Collie/?? mix named Phantom (of the Opera- my favourite show when I was a kid)


    First dog as an adult: Lu, GSD/best guess mutt. Best dog ever :rolleyes:


    Why a BC? It was a PITA to work my sheep without one! Yes, I got sheep, THEN a BC.


    Did you do research? Not really, but I worked with a shepherd friend of mine who has multiple BC's, and a friend of mine used to train & trial.


    First BC: Mac


    What made you want to get another? Mac was not cut out to be a working dog. He liked it, but didn't love it. He's much happier being a pet who gets to round up the occasional stray sheep.


    What have you done with your dogs? Lu is just a dog. She's my travelling companion, my shadow. She doesn't have a "real" job. Nick is a stockdog.


    How many BC's? 2


    How many do you have now? 1


    What "quirks" have you noticed with all your dogs? Oh good grief, where to start?! Lu, who has major seperation anxiety, doesn't destroy things of she's left loose alone- she hides things! She once emptied my sis & BIL's bottom pantry shelf & we found bags of nuts, etc hidden around the house for 6 months. Not a single thing had been opened or eaten. She's a master at opening tupperware- doesn't leave a mark on it. She snerfls ears and is obsessed with licking eye glasses, also loves shredding paper. Nick will lick you to death- I mean constant, non-stop licking. Despite the fact that he's an amazing stock dog, if there are no sheep around, he is so clumsy! He falls out of the truck when you open the door, he smacks into walls, he tries to lean on me, but misses & hits the ground...


    City dog or country dog? Country dogs! Lu has never lived in a city, and sidewalks confuse the heck out of her.


    Would you ever get another breed? Oh yeah, I love the mutts. Not sure I could ever be without a BC, though. Gotta have that mind.

  9. Another lovely thing about Pat's sheep: he culls for a runny nose... he's gone trialing so much, his sheep have to do it themselves. A friend of mine has a ram from him who as, oh, 11 or 12, and still breeding!


    Funny, your handle keeps throwing me off. I manage a flock here under the name Hill Farm :rolleyes:

  10. Oh, doG, welcome to my world! Nick licks everything. And everyone. Kids love it- my friend's grandson loves it that Nick will lick his stomach... or head... or toes... :rolleyes:


    And Nick is very happy to be low man on the totem pole. He goes nuts licking my sister's lab's face (he stays away from my sister's cranky-older-than-dirt BC).


    I managed to teach Nick, "Back off" by totally ignoring him when the licking got out of hand. Submissive behaviour it may be, but enough is enough. Didn't take him long to figure out excessive licking = no attention. Of course, being a BC, he's connected a bunch of other things to "stop licking!" : I don't need to licked! You're not my boyfriend! and STOP! LOL!

  11. The only way I manage to have two is because they're so different. Lu is my heart dog- I knew she was mine the first time I saw her pic on a shelter website- 6 MONTHS before I got her. She's just my lovey, snuggly, cuddly mutt. Nick is my working partner. Yes, he lives in the house, etc, but if I had to give up my sheep, I'd give him up to. He needs sheep. We have a different relationship than do Lu & I.


    I do think two dogs play better than one. No way could I wrestly with Lu like that! And to see them take off running down the back field... I love it!


    But I often wish I was back to just one dog. I don't think I'll ever have two again. But... there's no way I'm giving up Lu, and I can't do my job without Nick (plus I do love him, and I LOVE working him!), so two it is for now.


    It's up to you. No one says you need two dogs!

  12. Ah, yes. Much better now. Nick was light grey as a pup- his papers actually say grey. His undercoat is the most beautiful foggy grey colour- I'm always threatening to spin it into yarn... but dog fuzz smells like dog- especially when wet- no matter how many times it's washed. I learned this after spinning some Bernese Mountain Dog blended with wool for a friend. Ick.


    My sister has an ancient red BC, although I think she's actually a sable- she has "oil spots."


    Oh, Chaos has that same look Nick does... waiting for trouble! LOL!

  13. So, my Nick, who is blue (dilute black), would not be called chocolate? That's what everyone says he looks like. I call it mud...






    Not sure what the difference between blue & red would be, visibly. Genetically, it's different genes- red is one gene, blue is caused by a dilute gene acting on black. I would have called Devi's Chaos blue (he looks to be the same colour as Nick). Although, Nick's nose is black (I had to wake him up to check).


    I don't particularly care what colour he is- he gets the job done, although I do wish he didn't match the PNW mud so well! I let him inside and he's invisibly filthy!


    ETA: Okay, I lied. Chaos is much redder than Nick, so that I look closely.

  14. I've gotten Jolly Balls cheaper through horse supply catalogues than in pet stores or dog catalogues.


    My yearling gelding throws his Jolly Ball over the fence, and the dogs nab it. It has a million holes, but it still pops back up!


    It hurts a LOT to get hit in the head with a Jolly Ball. Especially when it's in the mouth of a horse...

  15. Nick is a rather pushy dog. He works close & fast. With time, age, and miles he is getting much better about not sending the sheep flying past me- I think he's really just learning to read pressure better. He's 3.5 yrs old & has been on sheep from the very beginning. I really noticed today when we were out that he would push the heavy ewes, but stayed far back from the flighty lambs, and controlled his speed himself.


    At one point, the ewes & lambs (and 2 rams) were all together- about 40 sheep total. (I had a lapse in judgement on sheep behaviour. Of course the lambs weren't going to stay at the bottom of the field while I ran the ewes across the top... duh!) So we ended up sorting out everyone- pulled the rams out. Nick was brining the whole flock along & he was pushing, pushing, pushing. Sheep kept blasting past me & all over the place. When he would not respond to my "steady", "get back!", "take time" commands, I finally walked right through the sheep (they split) and pushed him back with MY pressure (just by walking toward him- no physical pressure). It seemed to work- he stayed back after that & kept the sheep balanced. It was almost like he was conufsed- stay back from lambs, but push ewes... all together = what do I do?!? It was like when I pushed him back he figured out how to make it work. Was that the right thing to do?



  16. Pretty much what Laura said. The sheep feel more pressure from the horse than the dog. If I'm moving a lot of sheep on the road, I like to be on horseback. She's an Arab, but is a true mare & likes to keep her "herd" together. She's great at heading off wayward sheep.


    Nick had to learn to avoid Monet (the mare) first, though. She does NOT take kindly to dogs in her space. Luckily, all it took was an ugly face for Nick to move off. He doesn't seem to think that the horse needs to be kept with the sheep, etc.

  17. Ah, yes. One you're hooked on driving horses, you're doomed! I've driven both heavy & light teams. I loved working the Percherons- just a little bit more fire to them. I worked a Belgian team that was amazing! Old style, very stout horses- Darwin, aka Bubba, weighed in at nearly 2400 Lbs (honestly- he was put on a livestock scale). He's the biggest (not the tallest, big most massive) horse I've ever seen. Plowing with that team was like no other. Their shoulders just bulged into the draft.


    My yearling Arabian is destined to be a light driving horse. My older mare can pull a tire, but she's too silly to actually drive.


    I love driving!

  18. It may be beneficial to actually have Maddy allergy tested. It's just like they do for people- all the little dots on the belly. Don't assume that she's allergic to a"normal" allergen like corn.


    Case in point, Lu, my mutt-dog, is allergic to everything under the sune EXCEPT corn, wheat, rice... all those things that usually bother dogs. She can't eat soy, eggs, dairy, beef, pork... the list goes on. She's been tested TWICE. Her hair falls out & she gets big sores from eating these foods. She (well, bot hdogs) eat a half-raw diet, and they both look great!


    Good Luck! Many folks here have been through the what-do-I-feed-my-dog rigamarole!

  19. My sheep shed has a concrete floor, and I wish I'd just leveled & packed the dirt. If the conrete is not bedded well, it turns into a MESS when the sheep are penned in the shed. Granted, I usually only lock the sheep in if they need to dry out before shearing, but it is still a disaster! Even when I bedded it with straw, they shoved the straw all over & the floor was a mess. It was so slick, I wiped out a coupld times (and got covered in poop.) When they pee on concrete, it pools & makes a mess. Even with the floor sloped to drain out the doors, the pee makes it slick. The only thing made easier with the concrete is cleaning out the lambing pens when I set them up. I still wish I'd just gone with dirt.


    You might consider putting a door/gate on opposite sides of the shed. Mine has big double doors on both ends- it's so nice to be able to run sheep in one side into a pen, shear, worm, whatever, then shoot them out the other door.

  20. Okay. Picture this. Dog is trying very, very hard to bring in a ewe with new lambs- ewe just will NOT follow bleating lambs into the shed, it's pouring rain & freezing, and I'm cursing every breeding for February lambs. (Side note: This was one of the very few times my old dog, Mac, actually tried 'very, very hard,'... he's a very happy sheep-retiree companion now). Eagle swoops in and lands on afterbirth of aforementioned ewe. Ewe decides eagle must be smashed, dog decides eagle must be moved... ewe meets dog where now-airbone eagle was sitting... Oi! Dam ewe finally got penned- all for twin freakin' rams (who both made very nice freezer lambs...)


    Anywho, never had an eagle actually come *after* my dog. Sheesh!


    It's almost Halloween, and Nick wants to dress up as Woo :rolleyes: He's mastered the head-in-hole look, but the orange is going to take a LOT of work... not to mention the tail-perm...

  21. Oh, yes. When I needed a new dog, I talked to a friend of mine who used to trial & train. He's good friends with Pat Shannahan (I was at Pat's farm getting a ram once, but he wasn't there). Pat had seen Nick at a clinic & really liked him. I made it very clear that I wanted a started dog. I'm willing to put some work into a dog, but I did NOT want to start one! It was the best decision I've ever made. Not only is Nick a great worker, but he's a great dog all around.


    Thanks for the advice. I'll just keep doing what works :rolleyes:

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